Plot Lines of The Flash: Season 3, Episode 11 “Dead or Alive”


By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)

WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.

Written By

Zack Stenz (Teleplay by)

Benjamin Raab (Story by)

Deric A. Hughes (Story by)

A Plot: Trial by Vibe

This episode took a break from the Savitar storyline and focused on HR and Cisco. I’ve made it no secret that HR has been hit or miss for me, but he’s slowly growing on me and this week he took a big leap forward. My hope coming out of this episode is that all his secrets are out in the open and the writers are ready to leave his past behind and start focusing on his future in the series. This was a turning point week for him. From the moment HR came through that breach from Earth-19, I wondered if his time on Earth-1 was limited. We know there is a limitless number of Harrison Wells in the multiverse, and there’s a preferable one on Earth-2 that could come back at any time. With that, I wondered if HR would be a permanent fixture on the show. Anything can still happen, but I’m not questioning his place now. HR Wells is here to stay; hopefully, that continues to be a good thing.

This was also a big episode for Cisco. We’ve seen him go from lab rat to metahuman over the course of two seasons, but his development into a superhero hit a wall this year. The writers chose to focus on his grief over losing his brother and his issues with Barry. That’s fine and it was done well, but it was time to start moving ahead with the Vibe story. This episode was pretty much perfectly timed in regards to Cisco’s development. He was able to move past his issues with HR while also further realizing his full potential. Bringing another vibing person into the series to push Cisco ahead was a brilliant move by the writers; what better way for Cisco to increase his powers than to face off with someone with the same powers?

B Plot: Arms Race

I feel like this plot was inserted into the episode mostly to remind us that Iris is a journalist. Her character was starting to get lost in the shuffle of all the metahumans being introduced into the series, but now that she’s integral to the Savitar storyline, the writers need to focus more on her. They did a fantastic job of doing that tonight. By having Iris go after these arms dealers, we got a glimpse into not only her feelings on her future showdown with Savitar but her feelings of inadequacy as a person. That last part took me by surprise. Iris has always been written as strong and confident, but I guess knowing you may die in a few months will shatter everything about yourself.

C Plot: The Need for Speed

Other than Iris’ death wish, the Savitar arc was pushed down to the C plot. Barry needs to gain an impossible amount of speed in a short time or he won’t save Iris. I like the potential this has for Wally. In almost every episode since he gained his powers, it’s been mentioned that Wally is progressing faster than Barry. I figured there must be a point to that, but I never would have guessed that Wally will be the one saving Iris in the end. That could still change, but probably not. The show is getting crowded with metahumans, and we could be seeing it transform in a weekly team-up series.

Thanks for reading!